From the day of our birth, we are faced with a challenge to adapt to the basic, fundamental laws governing this physical realm. An infant's primary desire is to satisfy the vital physical needs of hunger, thirst and comfort. He voices his protest with cries of frustration and lament. The maturing infant must learn to adapt to laws of gravity and physics as he grows and begins to sit and walk.
The universal laws that guide and direct our physical life are for our own good. Without gravitation, thermodynamics, optics, mechanics and other laws of physics that were designed to keep this earth functioning, we could not rely upon our responses to resolve the problems we meet. The laws governing the physical realm are constant and reliable. Under the same conditions, our actions and reactions are consistent and predictable because the laws governing such reactions are uniform and steady.
All through life we conform to laws affecting our physical body. We must learn to sit, stand, then walk in harmony with the law of gravity. As toddlers, we burned fingers and took many a bump until we developed a sense of the dynamic principles of heat and inertia. This is a part of growing up that we all go through as we adapt to our environment and then move on to maturity--and a more complex interaction with our world.
Besides being able to cope with physical laws, we soon learned that there were other laws in operation that were set by society. Every culture has a code of behavior governing the conduct of its people. These social aspects of behavior become more complex as society matures. Acceptance by society demands an adherence to various rules that reach into all parts of life. These include an acceptable dress code, which may vary from minimal standards to high fashion and proper attire for a given occasion.
Interaction between individuals is also governed by proper response and is looked upon as possessing politeness or having good breeding. These all must be learned individually and begun early in life. Man-made codes of behavior, however, are not the same in every society. What is politeness in one culture is unacceptable in another. In certain tribal nations, for example, burping at the table after a meal is taken as a compliment of satisfaction. In Western society, it is considered crude and vulgar.
Man's rules of behavior are not constant and may vary from country to country. In a given culture or society, what is today considered acceptable may have been taboo a few years ago. Consider the number of couples living together without the benefit of marriage, as opposed to the norm a few decades ago. Man's laws affect our behavior and our rules of conduct. While man's laws often change or take on new meaning, the laws of the physical universe do not change. They have been the same since creation. Gravity still draws things to the earth. The forces of erosion still plague our planet. The cleavage properties of minerals still produce the same result. The speed of light is still the same as it was thousands of years ago. Even though man has been able to invent superior ways to overcome inertia and gravity to travel faster, the basic laws governing rocketry were always in force. Man has merely been able to achieve a higher understanding of these laws and thereby apply higher technology to overcome these limitations. Even the fundamental qualities of the atom remain unchanged.
Without the physical laws that direct it, our universe
would cease to exist--and so would we.
Bible Laws Firm and Apply to All
Unchangeable as His laws governing the universe are, Yahweh's laws governing human behavior are just as immutable. His laws do not change. His standards of righteousness are the same for you and me as they were when given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We live according to the standards Yahweh has set governing our relationship with Him and the same standards with our fellow man. There is no shortcut. Yahweh expects the same pattern of behavior from us as He received from the patriarchs. The same standards for them are applied to us as well. We are all judged by the same yardstick.
The laws of the Bible cover not only the doing or external act, but also extend back to the thinking and inclinations of our mind. Sin begins in the heart and thoughts when we begin toying with an idea or desire contrary to Yahweh's law. If we do not rid ourselves of wrong thoughts and desires we may eventually commit the external act. In Yahweh's eyes, harboring such thoughts is already sin.
In this lesson we will be studying the spiritual aspects of behavior that Yahweh has embodied in the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments are a part of both the Old and New Covenants.
Being our example, Yahshua came to fulfill the law. An illustration of His fulfilling the law is the story of the small town, Somewhere, USA. All the people of this town complained about the unfair traffic laws that they were expected to obey. At a city council meeting one day, the officials of the town decided to prove to the people that they were wrong.
Joining their Police Department was a recent graduate of the state police academy. As part of his job requirements this young man was to go into town and take up residence living among the citizens for three years and obeying all of the same laws that they were being told to obey.
After three years, the young man was called in for a meeting with the entire town. At this meeting, the officials of the town showed that the young officer had obeyed every law that was on the books in connection with traffic. He had successfully fulfilled the traffic laws of that town. Because the young officer had fulfilled the law, did that mean the town would go out that very day and remove all the laws from the books? Do you think that they removed all the stop signs in town and did away with all the speed limits in town? Of course not! That young man proved that those laws were not too hard to obey. He proved that those laws were put there for the good of the people and they could be obeyed if the people cared and would make the effort.
Yahshua did the same with Yahweh's laws. He did not do away with them. He proved that they could be obeyed if one cared and really loved the Heavenly Father.
Yahweh redeemed His people form the bondage of Egypt and brought them to Mount Sinai. There He described the covenant that He was proposing to them. Israel was to forget the laws and worship of Egypt and not take up the ways and idol worship of the nations of Canaan. Yahweh was now giving them laws and rituals of worship that were to be a part of national Israel. He set apart days for the worship of Himself. He gave the pattern for the construction of a tabernacle where He promised to meet with His people.
His redeemed people were now to become a holy people, a special people set apart or sanctified through obedience of His laws and way of worship. Yahweh gave national strength and unity to Israel through the way of life He prescribed for them. He inaugurated religious, civil and moral codes of law of such breadth and comprehensiveness that they form the very basis of modern civilization, and our laws today.
|THE TEN COMMANDMENTS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT|
|(1) "Then said Yahshua unto him, Get you hence, Satan: for it is written, 'You shall worship Yahweh your Elohim, and Him only shall you serve,'" Matthew 4:10. (See also John 4:24, Rev. 19:10)||(6) "And He said unto him, 'Why ask you Me? There is none good but One, that is, Elohim: but if you will enter into life, keep the commandments.' He said unto Him, 'Which?' Yahshua said, 'You shall do no murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not bear false witness,'" Matthew 19:17-18. (See also Matthew 5:21-22, Romans 13:9, James 2:11)|
|(2) "And changed the glory of the uncorruptible Elohim into an image made like corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore Yahweh also gave them up to uncleanness, through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of Yahweh into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, Who is blessed for ever," Romans 1:23-25. (See also 1 John 5:21, Acts 17:29)||(7) "You have heard that it was said by them of old time, 'You shall not commit adultery': But I say unto you, that whosoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart," Matthew 5:27-28. (See also Matthew 19:18)|
|(3) "But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath; but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest you fall into condemnation," James 5:12. (See also Romans 3:14, 1 Timothy 6:1)||(8) "Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loves another has fulfilled the law. For this, 'You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not bear false witness, you shall not covet;' and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself,'" Romans 13:8-9. (See also Matthew 19:18, Ephesians 4:28)|
|(4) "For the Son of Man is Master even of the Sabbath Day," Matthew 12:8. (See also Mark 2:27-28, Colossians 1:16, Hebrews 4:4)||(9) "Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers. For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;" 1 Timothy 1:9-10. (See also Matthew 19:18, Romans 13:9)|
|(5) "Honour your father and your mother: and You shall love your neighbor as yourself," Matthew 19:19. (See also Ephesians 6:13)||(10) "What shall we say then? Is the law sin? By no means. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, 'You shall not covet,'" Romans 7:7. (See also Matthew 6:19, 24; 1 Corinthians 6:10)|
Yahweh's Laws Form the Basis of Both Covenants
Since most of Christianity teaches that the Ten Commandments were either done away or modified since the resurrection of the Messiah, let us take a look at these Ten Commandments and analyze how they stand in the scheme of things.
The Ten Commandments (also known as the "Decalogue") have been in effect since mankind was first placed on this earth. They were first made known to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Every one of the Ten Commandments was in force in the Garden. It was a sin to break any of these laws from the time of Adam to the time of Moses. It was Adam and Eve who sinned and were thrust out of the Garden into a world that was cursed, and an environment that was conducive to sin.
- What does Paul say in Romans 5:12? Was it sin that entered the world, or death? Is death the result of sin? See also Genesis 2:17.
NOTE:In the Hebrew, "You shall surely die" is "dying you shall die."
- What does Paul tell us in Romans 5:14 about death being present from Adam to Moses? Notice that "sin is not imputed where there is no law," (verse 13). Yet, sin was imputed because all men have died from Adam to Moses. Both Adam and Eve died, as have all men since. Therefore, the law existed at the time of Adam.
- What is sin? 1 John 3:4
NOTE:Yahweh is the Creator of everything, both in the physical and spiritual realm; things both seen and unseen. Being all-powerful (omnipotent), Yahweh has given His creation everything needed for life on this planet. He put in force such powers as gravity, the power of energy, the laws of physics, the laws of chemistry, the laws of motion and all the laws of science upon which we depend for life. Almighty Yahweh is also the Creator of spiritual laws. Even though we cannot always see the cause and effect relationship of breaking spiritual laws, they also exact a penalty. Sin is understood to mean breaking the laws that legislate our behavior toward Yahweh and toward mankind.
Obedience to the Law Necessary
Generally speaking, Yahweh's laws can be divided into three separate classifications:
- Laws that define sin. These identify principles of right and wrong and prescribe ethical standards and behavior.
- Laws of atonement. Such laws became evident after the entrance of sin and as a result of defined sin. Through these laws reconciliation could be made by the penitent individual. Atonement laws were added because of transgression, Galatians 3:19.
- Laws of penalty. The very existence of moral law shows there are consequences to be avoided. These laws of penalty are a part of the consequence of sin and foreshadow final and complete judgment.
Let's study Yahweh's law.
- Paul asks whether the law of itself is sin in Romans 7:7. What is his answer, last part? What does he say in Romans 3:20, last part?
NOTE:The law is likened to a mirror that reflects our behavior according to the standards Yahweh has set. How does Paul characterize the law? Romans 7:12
- Does James condemn those who hear the word of Yahweh and do nothing about following it? James 1:22-25
NOTE:Just as a mirror cannot wash our dirty face when we see it is dirty, so the law cannot make us sinless. The law shows us our sin. It is up to us to be a doer of the law and be blessed in our deed.
- Paul was a learned man who studied at the feet of one of the most prestigious scholars of his day, the Rabbi Gamaliel. Was Paul of the opinion that all people have sinned in some way? Romans 3:23. Three chapters later (same book), what does Paul say the result of sinning--or the wages of sin--is? (6:23)
NOTE:Churchianity teaches that humans have an immortal soul and that the soul goes to heaven or hell immediately at death. Paul, however, simply says our destiny is death--the cessation of life--not life in some other plane or form.
- Paul speaks of the redemption we have in Yahshua the Messiah, as does John (1 John 2:2). Yahshua is the propitiation (appeasement, conciliation, to regain good will) for our sins. Paul says in Romans 3:25 that faith in Yahshua's blood is necessary. Does this mean that we can sin and Yahweh will consistently forgive us of our sins?
NOTE:Paul clearly says that remission is for sins that are past. We are to repent of our sins and never return to those sins again. At that point we are forgiven. Each time we sin we are to go to Yahweh in prayer and ask His forgiveness. As we repent of those sins the slate is wiped clean and we are justified and cleansed of all past sins. We are not given a license to sin but are to live a sanctified life, keeping His commandments, just as Yahshua said in Matthew 19:17. What is the promise for keeping His commandments? Same verse.
Commandments in Effect Before Sinai
Each of the commandments was in effect before Yahweh thundered them from Mount Sinai. The Ten Commandments are recorded in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5, with slight variations. Not only were the Ten Commandments in force before Sinai, but they will also be in effect when the Kingdom is set up.
In Genesis 2:16-17, Yahweh tells Adam they could eat of any tree in the Garden except the one tree of knowledge of good and evil. Satan finds the woman alone and contradicts Yahweh's Word, Genesis 3:1-6. "You shall surely not die," Satan tells the woman, but will be like Elohim. This is the first lie recorded in the Bible. Any time we lead others to accept a concept that is not exactly true, it is a lie. Satan convinced the woman that immediately upon eating the fruit both she and Adam would be like Elohim.
- Who is responsible for bringing lies into the world? John 8:44
NOTE:The lie was, "Has Elohim said you shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" Yahweh had not said that at all. Eve corrected him and added her own "neither shall you touch it." Which commandment is broken here?
- In Luke 3:38, we learn that Adam is called the son of Yahweh because He had brought Adam and Eve into being. He was their only parent, and they acted against His express command. Which commandment is broken here?
- Notice Genesis 3:6 describing Eve's thoughts. First, she saw the tree was good for food. She also saw that the fruit was beautiful. She then thought of the superior wisdom she would attain by eating of the fruit. All of these desires show her wanting something she was prohibited from having. Which commandment is broken here?
- The trees in the Garden were all a part of Yahweh's creation. They belonged to Him and He could do with them as He pleased. He freely gave Adam and Eve permission to partake of any of the trees except for the tree of knowledge of good and evil. When Adam and Eve partook of the tree that was not theirs, which of the commandments was broken?
- Continuing in Genesis chapter 4 we learn of the account of Cain and Abel. Both Cain and Abel brought an offering on a specific day, verses 3-4, which was likely pre-ordained. Because Cain's was rejected he became angry. Later, verse 8, Cain killed his brother Abel. Which commandment did he break in killing his brother? He then compounded the sin by his response to the question of where his brother was, verse 9. Which commandment is broken here?
NOTE:The blood crying from the ground is a figure of speech. It is also found in Revelation 6:9-11 where their blood is to be avenged by Yahweh.
- Joshua speaks of the time of Abraham who was given a special promise in Genesis 12:1-4. Notice Genesis 11:31-32, which speaks of Terah and his son. What specifically does Joshua say about the ancestors of Israel? Joshua 24:1-2. (Note: The English word "flood" is better rendered "Euphrates" as in the Revised Standard Version.) This was the pagan center of moon worship, the city of Ur of the Chaldees. Abraham was selected because of proper worship of Yahweh. Which commandment is broken here? This is some 500 years before Sinai.
- After being commanded to arise and go to Bethel, Jacob demands that the people and those of his household "put away strange mighty ones," that is, strange foreign idols. They had idols they worshipped and bowed down to instead of Yahweh. Which commandment is broken here?
- Notice Yahweh's words to Israel in Leviticus 18:3, "After the doing of the land of Egypt, wherein you dwelt, shall you not do, and after the doings of the land of Canaan whither I bring you shall you not do, neither shall you walk in their ordinances." Understand that they had not yet come to the land of Canaan, but Yahweh already points out their sins and warns Israel not to follow their ways. They are not to allow any of their seed to pass through the fire to Molech, "neither shall you profane the name of Yahweh," Leviticus 18:21. Notice verse 27, "For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled." Israel was to refrain from certain practices lest they profane His Name. Which commandment applies to profaning His Name? This means those who lived before that generation, before Moses' time.
- Weeks before the children of Israel arrived at Sinai, they were sent manna, Exodus 16:14. Yahweh provided daily for six days. But on the sixth day, they gathered twice as much. Notice Exodus 16:23, "...This is that which Yahweh has said, 'Tomorrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto Yahweh; bake that which you will bake today, and seethe that you will seethe; and that which remains over lay up for you to be kept until the morning'." Which commandment was this?
- Genesis 39:7-9 gives the account of Joseph and Potiphar's wife. Notice Joseph's statement in verse 9, "How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against Elohim?" What commandment is spoken of here?
- After the flood, the death penalty was instituted for killing. Genesis 9:5-6 prescribes that those who murder shall be put to death. Certainly Yahweh knows the death penalty is a most effective deterrent for murder. This was just after the flood. Which commandment is in force here? Immediately following the flood of Noah, we read that Noah drank wine and got drunk, Genesis 9:20-27. Noah lay uncovered in his tent and his son Ham saw him. Shem and Japheth went in and covered him up. Notice that Noah pronounced a curse upon the son of Ham. Canaan was to be a servant to his brethren. Which commandment is functioning here to bring on the curse?
NOTE:It is clear from the record given us in the Old Testament, especially in Genesis, that the laws embodied in the Ten Commandments were already active long before they were codified and written down by Yahweh's own finger in the tablets of stone, Exodus 32:16.
The Foundation of Yahweh's Covenant
The Ten Commandants were codified in Exodus 20:1-17. The Israelites were gathered around Mount Sinai and were in sheer terror over the display of power coming from the mountain. The thundering, booming voice, along with the crackling lightening and the blast of the trumpet, brought chills of fear up and down their spines. The smoking, shaking mountain proved to Israel the fearful, awesome power of Yahweh's presence. They fled the scene almost terror-stricken. Backing away, they said to Moses, "Do not have Elohim speak to us, or we will die." See Exodus 20:19.
Yahweh did not say He was finished giving His laws to Israel. But the people did not want to be in His awesome presence. They were fearful and asked Moses to learn Yahweh's part of the covenant and, in turn, pass it on to them. Moses explains that the display of might was to instill in Israel an awesome respect for the power of Yahweh so they would not sin, that is, break His covenant, verse 20.
It is of utmost importance that we understand that Yahweh had more to say to Israel. He had more than the Ten commandments to give them, but it was the people who would hear no more of Yahweh's voice. From then on, Moses was to teach them the requirements of the covenant. The agreement that Yahweh was proposing consisted of the blessings that would be Israel's if they would but obey His standards. Yahweh went on to outline the terms of His covenant in chapters 21, 22 and 23. In Exodus 24, the covenant is ratified by Israel. Remember that chapters 21-23 are all part of the covenant.
- What is the basis of the covenant? Exodus 34:28. What does Moses tell us in Deuteronomy 4:13?
NOTE:The foundation of Yahweh's covenant is the Ten Commandments. All of His laws having to do with our relationship with Him and our fellow man are based upon the precepts established in the Ten Commandments.
- Jeremiah speaks of establishing a New Covenant with Israel and Judah in 31:31-34. What changes, if any, does Yahweh propose to make with the New Covenant?
NOTE:The promise is that Yahweh will put the law within the hearts of His people, in their very inward parts; it will be written on their hearts. The meaning is that Yahweh's laws will be a part of their very life, Jeremiah 31:33-34. This is an obvious reference to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to make His laws a part of our very character. Notice that He does not in any way change His laws.
- Does Yahweh bring up the New Covenant in the New Testament? Hebrews 8:8-13. What was the fault with the Old Covenant? Verses 7-8.
NOTE:The problem with the Old Covenant was that Israel did not have the heart to obey. They did not have the Holy Spirit abiding in them to make them willingly obedient. Notice verse 9, "They continued not in My covenant." It was because Israel broke their part of the agreement to obey all that Yahweh asked of them. We know the only thing that atones for sin is blood. In the Old Testament, the people would sacrifice animals, and the blood of those animals was used for the atoning of sins. We have Yahshua, who is called the Lamb of Yah, who sacrificed Himself and shed His blood for the atonement of our sins. We no longer need to shed animal blood. Yahshua gave the perfect sacrifice--Himself. Now our sacrifices are to be spiritual. In Romans 12:1, we read that we are to present our bodies as living sacrifices to Yahweh. We do that by not conforming to the ways of the world, but doing Yahweh's will, obeying all of His commandments. So what was nailed to the stake with Yahshua? The sacrificial and ceremonial laws were nailed to the stake. The blood sacrificing of animals is no longer needed because of the fact that Yahshua was the perfect and only sacrifice that was and is needed now. Circumcision was the blood shed by a man to enter into the covenant of Yahweh. Now we enter into Yahweh's covenant by being baptized into the Name of Yahshua the Messiah. This means we have accepted Yahshua as our sacrifice and Savior. The Bible says that Yahweh's laws contained some oracles that were shadows of things to come. Blood sacrifices were a shadow of a certain thing to come--that being the perfect blood sacrifice of Yahshua Himself. Paul tried hard to teach this point to the people. He always had problems, though, as the Jews habitually followed him around, and when he would leave, they would begin to preach physical circumcision. In Galatians 5:12, he says he wished the knife of those would slip and they would cut themselves. Circumcision was a sign between Yahweh and His people during the time of Abraham. Today the sign between Yahweh and His people is the one Yahshua left us, which isto do the Father's will, not because we are born into it or because we were forced into it, but because we want to. Yahweh created living souls, not robots. He wants us to love and obey Him through desire as we are circumcised in our hearts. Romans 2:28-29.
- What did Yahweh say of His laws and their worth to other nations? Deuteronomy 4:5-8. When we read of these words of commendation from Yahweh, it is most difficult to understand how many can think Paul said these laws were a yoke of bondage-- a burden, or even that they were a curse.
- As part of their worship, Israel was to construct a small box-like object which became known as the Ark of the Covenant. A mercy seat was to be above it, with two cherubims on either end. Inside the ark, they were to place the "testimony," Exodus 25:16 and 21. What were these? Exodus 31:18. Who wrote them? Exodus 32:15-16.
- In recounting the episode some 40 years later, Moses rehearses the history of Israel. What does Moses say about the ark and what it contained? Deuteronomy 10:4-5. In addition to the two tables that had the Ten Commandments written on the back and the front, which were placed inside the ark, there was a pocket or side where something else was placed. What was it? Deuteronomy 31:26. Who wrote it? Verses 24-25.
NOTE:Clearly, Yahweh wrote the Ten Commandments on two tables of stone. They were placed inside the ark which became known as the Ark of the Covenant, Deuteronomy 31:25. This Ark of the Covenant also contained supplemental laws given to Moses.
- Is the same Ark of the Covenant mentioned in the New Testament? Hebrews 9:4. Notice that it contains two additions. First was the golden pot containing manna, which was to remind those in the New Testament of the true Bread of Life, Yahshua the Messiah. Also, it housed the rod of Aaron with which he would perform miracles in Egypt. We are able to overcome and do great things by the Holy Spirit which is given to us in the present age.
- The Ark of Yahweh's Covenant is again seen in the Book of Revelation. Chapter 11 speaks of the end of the age with the two witnesses. Verse 15 speaks of the 7th angel sounding, which is the last trumpet. It is a time when the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of Yahweh and His Anointed. Verse 18 shows that the nations of this earth are angry,that judgment has come, and thatYahweh's people are rewarded. What happens in Revelation 11:19? What is "the Ark of His Testament?"
NOTE:Just as Mount Sinai shook with Yahweh's majestic power, again the earth will be shaken when Yahweh's righteousness comes to this earth. There will be a supernatural display of lightenings, voices, thunderings, and an earthquake, along with a great hail. Judgment! Yahweh's commandments will yet prevail.
- The Book of Revelation was written about 60 years after the death and ascension of the Messiah. If the Ten Commandments were done away, then, certainly we should not hear anything about them in the Book of Revelation. At the end of the age, we read of a group of people who are the remnant of the woman's seed. How does the Bible describe them? Revelation 12:17.
- Did Yahshua keep His Father's commandments? John 15:10. The Savior taught us to show love for one another. How can we abide in His love? Same verse.
- Revelation again shows that we are to obtain blessings for reading this book (1:3). It speaks of a group of people called saints, chapter 14:12, who are called upon to endure. What are the two ways they are described?
NOTE:Even at the end of the age, when persecution and trial will befall many believers, there will be a group that keeps the commandments of Yahweh and the same loyal faith that Yahshua had.
- Revelation 22:14 tells of the blessing that certain people will get from Yahweh. What is it they do that distinguishes them and allows them to have the blessing? Here is a book that is written 60 years after the death and resurrection of the Messiah.
NOTE:Our obedience to the commandments of Yahweh is still required. The Ten Commandments that Yahweh Himself wrote on two tables of stone are still with us today.
Whence Come Wars
Man's stubborn refusal to obey Yahweh has led to untold suffering. Hebrews 4:12 reads, "There is one Lawgiver, Who is able to save and to destroy." Submit to Yahweh the Lawgiver, and find peace and jo
The Law Even More Important Today
Yahweh has not changed His standards for us. The rules we are to apply to ourselves to regulate our behavior and shape our thinking and mold our character are the same as those of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In Luke 13:23, His disciples asked Yahshua whether there would be few saved. His answer is astounding! He talks about a strait (narrow) gate into which we should strive to enter. It is difficult to enter into that gate. Most do not want to pay the price now to enter into the sheepfold of righteousness, John 10:9, and accept Yahshua as the Head and Captain of our faith. In Luke 13:25-27, Yahshua shows that there will be some who simply will not attain the Kingdom. He calls them "workers of iniquity." Just to say we "know the Messiah" will not help us pass the test. We must have more than a nodding acquaintance with Him; we must keep the same commandments as did Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. See verse 28.
"There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets in the Kingdom of Yahweh, and you yourselves thrust out."
The difference between Old Testament laws and laws that are kept now is that those laws having to do with sacrificial offerings are no longer binding upon us. These sacrifices all pointed to the suffering and death of the Messiah. Hebrews 9 and 10 point this out. Hebrews 9:8 tells us that the way into the very presence of Yahweh was not available for us while the tabernacle was standing. Verse 11 shows that the "more perfect tabernacle not made with hands" is the spiritual temple of which Messiah is the High Priest.
He entered into Yahweh's presence with His own blood and obtained eternal redemption for us, verse 12. In Hebrews 10:9, Yahshua comes to do Yahweh's will, taking away the first covenant to establish the second. In the New Covenant, we are sanctified by the offering of the Body of Messiah, verse 10. In verse 14 we read, "For by one offering He has perfected forever them that are sanctified." Yahshua paid the price for your redemption. No more animal sacrifices do we need.
Now our sacrifices are spiritual. Paul tells us, "I beseech you brethren, by the mercies of Yahweh, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto Yahweh, which is your reasonable service." Peter adds his exhortation, "You also as living stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to Yahweh by Yahshua the Messiah."
While Old Testament laws of obedience were based on physical accomplishments and activity, the spiritual lessons should be our goal. We must have proper attitude so we can shape our concepts. Our motivation must be from a pure heart, being one of serving and not receiving.
In the Old Testament precepts, as long as one did not physically harm a neighbor, not much could be said. But Yahshua said that we could not even hate our brother, for by doing so, we are a murderer. As long as one did not physically commit fornication in the Old Testament, one could meet the letter of the law. But in the New Covenant, Yahshua plainly said that even to lust or desire to commit adultery was a sin, Matthew 5:28. Yahshua came to give us the example and show that entertaining evil thoughts was in itself wrong. He filled up the highest standards of righteousness in the law by showing us that we must keep our thoughts pure. From the thought and desire comes the act.
It is almost impossible to touch on all the various aspects of the law, as each topic requires special treatment. (We have various articles on the Ten Commandments.) Especially do we find that people want to reject the Third and Fourth Commandments. While many will acknowledge that the Name of the Father is Yahweh and the Son, Yahshua, they will manufacture all sorts of excuses for not using the Names by which His people will know Him, Isaiah 52:6. Revelation 3:8 says His people have not denied His Name. That is, they haven't taken away the importance and reverence of it. They have not denied that it should be used and have treated it as holy.
The other commandment that most people rebel against is the Fourth, having to do with His Sabbath. We have many booklets on the Sabbath showing that the Sabbath was kept in the New Testament. Yahshua kept it. The disciples kept it. It will be kept in the Kingdom. Hebrews 4:9 clearly says, "There remains a Sabbath of rest for Yahweh's people."
The Law Gauges the Corruption of Our Day
The commands given to Moses by Yahweh on Mount Sinai were kept in the Ark of the Covenant, Deuteronomy 10:5, 1 Kings 8:9. And in Deuteronomy 31:24-26, we see that Moses finished writing down all the rest of the laws and placed them alongside the Ark of the Covenant. This establishes the fact that Yahweh gave man more laws than just the Ten Commandments as part of the covenant.
We've heard it said by many that Yahshua did away with all the old laws. Some claim that when He was nailed to the stake that the laws were nailed there also. And yet we read the very words of Yahshua Himself in Matthew 5:17, "Think not that I have come to destroy the law or the prophets. I am not come to destroy but to fulfill." Is there the slightest possibility that Yahshua did away with the laws? None at all. If Yahshua had done away with the law, there would be nothing for us to transgress. And if transgression of the law did not exist, then there would be no sin, because sin is the transgression of the law. This world we live in is certainly not free from sin.
In the Bible, we read of mounting evils in our day. In Matthew 24:22, we read that life is going to deteriorate to the extent that, except these days be shortened, there will be no flesh left on the earth. So did Yahshua actually do away with the law? Did He change the law, or did He do what He said He would: fulfill it? What do we mean when we say, we fulfill the law?
Whether we are in school or at work, we all have certain obligations. When we fulfill our obligations, what do we do? We do what is expected of us. Yahshua's obligation to His Father was to fulfill the law, and He did. He obeyed Yahweh's laws to perfection. He lived according to the law, thus fulfilling it to its complete, spiritual intent. He was a perfect sacrifice for our sins, Hebrews 9:26-28. Therefore, he obeyed all Yahweh's laws. Yahshua is our example. If we are to follow the lead of our example, then we, too, will live in accordance with Yahweh's laws, therefore fulfilling them.
The next time someone tells you the laws of Yahweh have been done away, just think about life around us. Society is governed by laws; the more sophisticated the society, the more sophisticated the laws. Yahweh created the laws of the universe. They are all perpetual laws. What if the laws of gravity were done away, or what if the earth stopped its rotation? Those perpetual physical laws of Yahweh are the same as the perpetual laws He spoke of in Isaiah 66:22-23. Whether it be in this life or in the new one to come, all will come before Yahweh and worship Him on His Sabbath.
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May Yahweh bless you and help you in all your learning endeavors!